Weight control in PCOS

Weight control in PCOS

Why does a woman with PCOS gain weight?

PCOS makes it difficult for the body to use the hormone insulin, which ordinarily helps in converting sugar and starch from food into energy. This state is called insulin resistance.

High levels of insulin increase the release of androgens (male hormones). High androgen levels are the prime cause of symptoms such as hirsutism, acne, irregular periods and excessive weight gain. The gain in weight with PCOS is caused by male hormones which primarily exist in the abdomen of the woman That is why a woman with PCOS have an apple-shaped abdomen instead of a pear-shaped one.

How to lose weight when diagnosed with PCOS?

Most women with PCOS are overweight. They often try hard, but fail to lose weight with PCOS, and the body is in fat storage mode because of the excessive insulin. In polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) insulin acts as an appetite-stimulating hormone leading to strong and intense cravings. Thus, the consumption of higher calories can be a root cause of gain in weight with PCOS.

It is very important for a woman suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) to lose weight if her weight exceeds the predetermined limit. Weight control in PCOS and physical exercise is a must and is often considered to be the first treatment option for a woman with PCOS. Even a 5-10% weight loss can make a considerable change in solving the problems of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

The first step to manage polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is to lose weight. Because losing weight helps improve menstrual irregularities and metabolic parameters. But for most women with PCOS, losing weight seems impossible. Here are a few steps to help with this:

  • A well-planned diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Regular exercise

All the three steps together as a regular regime will lead to weight control in PCOS.

  1. Food that contributes to raising insulin levels should be avoided or should be consumed in a limit. For example, the intake of sugary beverages, processed food like crackers, chips, and bread, as well as bakery items and desserts should be monitored. And food that reduces the insulin and inflammation in the body like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and pulses should always be in a diet of a woman who wants to lose weight in PCOS. This will help the woman with PCOS to achieve their weight loss goals.
  2. Low Glycemic diets and anti-inflammatory diets have proven to be beneficial in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
  3. To lose weight with PCOS you must find a type of physical activity that you enjoy doing. A moderately intense workout regime done regularly will motivate your journey of weight control in PCOS. A combination of cardio and strength training for at least 30 minutes, five times a week can improve sensitivity to insulin and thus manage hormones.

What is the importance of caloric restriction in weight control with PCOS?

A caloric negative balance helps you to lose weight. This means that you are burning more calories than you consume. Any reduction in calorie intake, preferably between 200 calories to 5,000 calories per day, will help you to lose about 0.5 to 1lb of weight in PCOS per week. For an obese woman suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), fat loss is equally important as weight loss and for a woman with lean PCOS, fat loss is extremely important.

How does a woman with PCOS achieve this weight loss?

By reducing 25% of calories in the food that you consume, you will be able to create a caloric deficit. The diet with minimum calories will help you in losing weight. And less consumption of calories is not only a well-balanced, low glycemic index diet but also helps you in weight control with PCOS.

Caloric restriction will not only help you to lose weight with PCOS but will also help you in reducing your waist size, which is increased because of obesity. It will also improve your menstrual cycle as well as your ovulation cycle. The caloric restriction not only helps you in losing weight but also helps in fat loss.

A good diet plan will help you lose weight which eventually will help your body image, give you confidence and improve your self-esteem, overall improves your quality of life.

Reduction in weight can assist a woman with infertility in PCOS, so if your weight exceeds a limit, weight management and physical exercise is a must and the first treatment option for a woman with PCOS. Even a 5-10% weight loss can increase the recovery chances of infertility in PCOS by 25%.

Steps to lose weight:

  • Lessen your carb intake: – Reducing your carb intake can help you manage the impact on your insulin levels.
  • Practice mindful eating: – Mindful eating helps in promoting consciousness of core eating cues and also promotes weight loss. It can be helpful for women with PCOS, who are likely to experience eating disorders.
  • Consume excessive fiber: – A diet high in fiber can help in reducing the insulin resistance, body weight, and extra body fat in a woman with PCOS.
  • Eat enough protein: – Higher intake of protein can be a helping hand for weight loss. Especially for women with PCOS, consuming healthy items that have high-protein like eggs, nuts, and seafood in your diet can be very helpful.
  • Regular exercise is the best approach for weight loss: – Both cardio and weight-training workouts can help women with PCOS drop body fat and improve insulin sensitivity. On average, if a woman with PCOS exercises regularly and eats healthy, she can easily lose 2 kilos a month. This means that she is capable of losing 7-8 kilos within 3 to 4 months just by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. This is very essential to help one recover from the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

What are the risks associated of being overweight in PCOS?

No matter what the reason is, weight gain can be detrimental to your health. Women with PCOS can easily grow complications associated with a weight with PCOS and insulin resistance, like:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Infertility
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Endometrial cancer

Always remember, a well-planned diet + exercise + sleep = weight control in PCOS

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